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Verified Gross Mass (VGM)

Today, the weight of containers provided by the shippers is not always accurate, leading to accidents and posing a huge risk for the personnel, on the roads, inside the terminal, to cargo and equipment. Indeed, there were often discrepancies observed between the declared gross mass and the actual gross mass of a packed container.

In May 2014, the International Maritime Organization adopted an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regarding a mandatory container weight verification requirement on shippers. This convention applies to all containers shipments to which SOLAS amendments apply.

From 1st July 2016, shippers will be required to provide the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of each shipment to their ocean carrier. The responsibility is with the shipper to confirm the VGM before the carrier’s load list cut-off date.

The new SOLAS amendments introduce two main new requirements:

  • The shipper is responsible for providing the verified weight by stating it in the shipping document and submitting it to the master or his representative and to the terminal representative sufficiently in advance to be used in the preparation of the ship stowage plan; 
  • The verified gross mass is a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship.

If not confirmed, the container will not be loaded on board (potential increased charges).

Please consult our  FAQs to know more about VGM.
More information can be found as well at IMO (International Maritime Organization).


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